A stupid discussion by stupid people

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Gimpy

2nd Lieutenant
That's rather selling yourself short - the Netherlands, all things considered, put up an amazingly hard fight, even inflicting some local defeats on the Germans.
I'd say you're even selling yourself short Quarto, even though Poland fell rather quickly, with outdated equipment many more Germans were casaulties than expected, not to mention destroying 30% of their mechanized forces. Not only did it delay the invasion of France but also forced them to attack with significantly fewer medium tanks than planned, as the main attacks were forced to use lightly armed Panzer I and II's alongside III's not intended for that role.

I realy doubt it was a lack of courage that caused the French defeat and the protraction of the war, but a fatal combination of wrong perception of the capabilities of the German Wehrmacht at the onset of the war in 1939 and outdated doctrines on the French part. Partly they probably were baffled by the success in the Polish campaign partly they were probably underestimating the Wehrmacht in their capabilities to perform a mechanized assault the way they did. And from what they knew in late 1939 and early 1940 a waiting stance to reinforce their positions and gear up their industries for a full scale war was probably the "right" decission to take. I doubt the average French soldier was that much less courageous than the average German or Dutch soldier, but he was thrust in a situation where fighting on seized to be a possibility after a certain point.
Much like the other armies in the world, the French still were using the armored tactics of WW1 where the tanks supported the infantry, unlike the Germans use of tanks as the spearhead and infantry for location control. Another factor was the organization of the army. In France at that point, divisions were assigned rigid areas to control which interferred with communication and supporting other units around them. In essence, very good men and equipment couldnt be used to their potential because of bad strategy.
 

Quarto

Unknown Enemy
Firstly I am not German.
Sorry - I made the assumption based on your statement that your grandfathers fought for the other side.

I still think your comment was wrong, though. Yes, the road to war was a long one, and there were many contributing factors. I have much sympathy for all that the Germans suffered through after WWI. Heck - I even have a lot of sympathy for German soldiers during the war, who for the most part were decent men stuck executing criminal decisions. But in the end, of all the different possibilities that Germany faced at that point in history, they chose war. This was their choice, and nobody forced them into it - Germany doesn't hold a very big share of responsibility, it holds exclusive responsibility. That doesn't mean that present-day Germans are in any way guilty, or that they need to apologise for anything - but I see no reason to tolerate this kind of revisionism.

I realy doubt it was a lack of courage that caused the French defeat and the protraction of the war, but a fatal combination of wrong perception of the capabilities of the German Wehrmacht at the onset of the war in 1939 and outdated doctrines on the French part.
I don't claim that the French were all cowards in 1940. However, at a time when the Dutch refused to surrender even after their country had been overrun, the French just plain folded. The option to continue the fight from the colonies was mentioned, but rejected out of hand. Why? It's hard to call this decision anything less than cowardice.
 

Mace

Vice Admiral
That's rather selling yourself short - the Netherlands, all things considered, put up an amazingly hard fight, even inflicting some local defeats on the Germans. It took five days of fighting before you surrendered - and even then, Germany had to break the rules of civilised warfare by bombing Rotterdam (24,000 houses destroyed!) and threatening to destroy other cities. I don't know what they teach you at school, but this defensive effort certainly wasn't supposed to merely hold the Germans back until the Queen could escape - the fact is, she didn't leave until day four of the battle, and even then, she had been meant to only evacuate to Zeeland. The decision to head for the UK was only made when it turned out a voyage to Zeeland would be too risky because the area had been mined. And, most importantly, at the end of the battle, your government still refused to surrender - the only surrender the Germans got in the Netherlands was from the troops actually in the country (and even then, Zealand was exempted - it only fell a few days later). If only the French had half the courage the Dutch showed, Germany could have been defeated much, much sooner. WWII is a time the Dutch can be hugely proud of - and should draw lessons from it for the present.
While all that is true(and Belgium did similar), there was no way the Dutch could stand up to the German war machine, and there were a few strongholds still fighting through after the surrender, but those had been built to do just that, and they only kept on fighting because the germans had cut the telephone wires and they did not know of the surrender. For me history classes are at least 15 years behind me, and when WW2 comes along these days(there are some problems with immigrants over here), they tend to avoid the subject and move on to the next ASAP.
 

Quarto

Unknown Enemy
Certainly, the Dutch could never have stood up alone to the Germans... or rather they could have, if only they had spent more than a dime on their defences before the war ;). As it is, their defense was impressive precisely because their army was outdated but still put up a stronger fight than the Germans could ever have anticipated. It's a shame this is a subject you avoid at school - I strongly suspect that a lack of national pride is the main reason why you have problems with the immigrants. But that's a subject for another thread.
 

Zelvik

Rear Admiral
Sorry - I made the assumption based on your statement that your grandfathers fought for the other side.

I still think your comment was wrong, though. Yes, the road to war was a long one, and there were many contributing factors. I have much sympathy for all that the Germans suffered through after WWI. Heck - I even have a lot of sympathy for German soldiers during the war, who for the most part were decent men stuck executing criminal decisions. But in the end, of all the different possibilities that Germany faced at that point in history, they chose war. This was their choice, and nobody forced them into it - Germany doesn't hold a very big share of responsibility, it holds exclusive responsibility. That doesn't mean that present-day Germans are in any way guilty, or that they need to apologise for anything - but I see no reason to tolerate this kind of revisionism.
I guess we are talking about two different things here. My reference was not to WW1 either, my reference was to the development of nationalism and national chauvinism as well to concepts of race, social darwinism etc.. that are at the core of Nazi ideology but are neither exclusive to it nor is it the source of these schools of thought. When it comes to WW2 I am with you that its the sole responsibility of the German population to have supported a party that clearly wanted war and whose ideology already pointed to the atrocities to come - there is no quarreling about that. My reference to a continent that had fucked itself up was as I said not only in reference to WW2 but to the larger scheme to which the US commited itself after WW2 - my reference was therefore not only to their comitment in the war but also to their comitment to establish an order within Europe (at the time only Western Europe) that lowered the possibility of future wars. There would have been alternatives (certainly ones where the US would have endangered its position if they had left the field to the Sovjets) for them, but they stayed.
 

Mace

Vice Admiral
Certainly, the Dutch could never have stood up alone to the Germans... or rather they could have, if only they had spent more than a dime on their defences before the war ;). As it is, their defense was impressive precisely because their army was outdated but still put up a stronger fight than the Germans could ever have anticipated. It's a shame this is a subject you avoid at school - I strongly suspect that a lack of national pride is the main reason why you have problems with the immigrants. But that's a subject for another thread.
Well the problems are more a result these days of those who are in politics and how they act and listen to the people, we voted "NO" on many things, and afterwards the government did it anyway through an internal referendum excluding the people, taxes are incredibly high, and the harder you work the less you get for it, but that's our local politics now. When I find an emigration opportunity I'm not the only one who will jump at it.

As far as education goes, just imagine yourself talking about WW2 and a third of the kids(Immigrants have a far higher birth rate of children then native dutch) stand up and say
"Hitler was a good man because he killed many jews"
, and having to work from there, and being unable to correct them without getting your carwindows smashed in. (I used the spoiler to mask something some would rather not read). Our own laws allow them to speak and insult others because of their background, and as a teacher you would need to deal with that, and are powerless.
 

Exterminator17

Spaceman
You are all talking about a very interesting subject. One which will consume generations for centuries, just as it has consumed the last 3 generations about what started, caused, and supported the Nazi movement.

My comments are this, The Poles did a FANTASTIC job supplying intelligence to the Allies about Penemunde and the V2 program. They also caused enough havoc behind the lines like the French resistance and German resistance (et al) after the Hitler regime steamrolled through the low countries, Poland, and France. Yes, Any person wearing the uniform of a certain country is fighting for said country, but is still that national identity. BTW, My grandfather fought as in the Pacific as an Engineer in a Fueler for the US War Fleet, Aviation fuel. Never saw combat, was sea sick most of the time (*grin*). Because of his involvement, I have spent most of my life learning and studying the US's involvement from our isolationist policy forced on Roosevelt (Who I cant stand) and the great movement of Economics from the German Depression and Stock Market Crash of '29. The Nazi's would not have come to power if the Treaty of Versailles had not tried to cripple the German state as it did. Something that seems to be overlooked in every commentary I have read on the Start of WW2. France, England, US, Italy, Japan, all tried to get something from Germany, when what was the real culpret was a Serbian National who didnt like an Austro/Hungarian Archduke. The real country that should have taken the hit for damages was Austro/Hungaria, not Germany, but The Austrian/Hungarian empire was broken up instead. Granted, I have not read as much into what the Allies of WW1 did to punish Austria/Hungarian Empire. But I would have to put the cause square on the Big 5. Now, to my mind, Everyone who suffered through that terrible war, our grandparents and greate grandparents did amazing things on both sides. You have the Heros of Operation Valkyrie, who tried to end the war and Hitler the best way they could, and they deserve greate respect for that. The resistance fighters on all fronts also deserve a lot of credit and respect. Unlike some of my countrymen, I was taught by my Father to respect our Neighbors to the North, Canada, and not call my self an American, but a Citizen of the USA, since Both Canada and USA are all Americans. I was also taught a lesson from a friend from Canada about an amphibious landing of Canadians at Dieppe. Free French Pushed from Normandy using Shermans down to Paris. Brits with Churchill Croc. tanks stormed the beaches and pushed to Caan. Everything From the Torch landings to Normandy were team efforts.
 

rapierdragon

Rear Admiral
I think the war, and its aftermath, is all a series of cases of "we're better than you".

Don't know exactly where it started, but eventually WW1 happened and Germany lost and made the mistake of printing too much money (which devalued their currancy and caused super-inflation), which led to their needing to "we're better than you", and their target was unfortunately the jews.

The U.S. wouldn't have joined the war if they hadn't wanted to "we're better than you" to what they viewed as Brittish snobs, French pansies, hard-working honor-driven Japanese, and the USSR/Russia (who they were afraid would eventually win and take control via post-war expansion and market cornering techniques).

After the war the U.S. furthered this "we're better than the rest of you" attitude by using its wealth to start buying and importing cheaper stuff from overseas and selling/exporting high-end stuff. Eventually though this went too far and they started getting lazy...

The Asian countries started getting tired of it, upgraded their manufacturing and tech, and "we're better than you" the U.S. auto-industry and electronics markets... first through the obvious "cheap and plentiful" way, but very quickly moving up into the "expensive and detailed stuff"...

The Americans, needing to feel superior, started moving away from production and into consumption... in a sense a "we're better than you cause we do less work" type view. The U.S.A. started exporting debt (via the "we're better cause everyone can own their own home and their own car" type view.

The whole "politically correct" theme of the early 1990's was a "we're better than you in a socio-political way". Suddenly people were "African-American" or "Japanese-American" or "African-Canadian"... the worst of which possibly the "American-American" (American's who could trace their family back within the U.S.A. back to its founding days).

Course, this ideology failed and a split happened in many countries... each country tried to "we're better than you" on national pride... "African-American" for example simply became "American" and anyone who used the hyphenized nationality fell into the "foreigner" category and was viewed as "a foreigner-American who wants our money and our jobs but still puts their homeland first and will probably betray us to whatever country the first chance they get" (no offense to African-Americans... just easier to avoid certain anger issues with certain middle-eastern countries if I don't mention them by name).

Not sure what kind of "we're better than you" will be next. Maybe a genetic one, like in the movie Gattica (where G.E.'d people look down on natural-born people).
 

Kaunisto

Rear Admiral
To explain Finnish point of view, I'd have to write quite a lecture on that history. Short version:
1939: SU attacks Finland
1940: they've had enough and agree to peace
1941: along with Germany, Finland attacks SU
1944: Finland makes peace with SU and backstabs Germany


While I see that Germany is mostly to blame for WWII in Europe - though Soviet Union almost as much - there's certain mistake by western powers (primarily UK) to be recognized:
They wanted and allowed Germany to arm itself and be extreme right, because they feared Soviets. West wanted a strong bumper against the Communist World Revolution. The cure was worse than the illness.

And that's a pattern we've seen again: in 80's Afghanistan USA supported extreme islam and Taleban to fight SU indirectly. They armed Saddam when he was fighting Iran.


Anyway, we do appreciate the Marshall aid, especially since we were most of the time on the other side. But then again...
war materiel shipped to them from the US via the "Murmansk run", including 15,000 aircraft, 7,000 tanks, 350,000 tons of explosives, and 15,000,000 pairs of boots
Straight to our borders.
 

Quarto

Unknown Enemy
Let this be a lesson to you, Frosty(theplebe) - next time you want to ask a WWII-related question, you gotta be very, very specific, otherwise the thread will inevitably turn into a generic WWII discussion going off in every direction :).

(of course, it will anyway - but if you're a little more specific, you might keep things on-subject for a few posts longer)
 

Death

gh0d (Administrator)
While I see that Germany is mostly to blame for WWII in Europe - though Soviet Union almost as much - there's certain mistake by western powers (primarily UK) to be recognized:
They wanted and allowed Germany to arm itself and be extreme right, because they feared Soviets.
Uh, no.

Europe's reluctance to stomp out German rearmament, even though by treaty it was an option, had nothing to do with fear of the Soviet Union. Remember what happened the last time Germans went to war with the rest of Europe? You know, losing a rather sizeable chunk of that generation's population in a series of stupid engagements compounded by the generals of the time fighting the last war in spite of the march of technology (machine guns in particular)?

In hindsight, we can see that trying to appease Hitler was an exercise in futility (at best), but at the time it was thought that appeasing him would be less expensive than calling Germany on its violations of the Treaty of Versailles, especially in the face of a global depression that didn't have a lot of money to spare for rebuilding the armed forces of the rest of Europe (which, unlike Germany, hadn't hit rock-bottom, economically).
 

frostytheplebe

Seventh Part of the Seal
Let this be a lesson to you, Frosty(theplebe) - next time you want to ask a WWII-related question, you gotta be very, very specific, otherwise the thread will inevitably turn into a generic WWII discussion going off in every direction :).

(of course, it will anyway - but if you're a little more specific, you might keep things on-subject for a few posts longer)
sigh... yeah yeah :rolleyes: should've known that when the thread in the General forum degenerated into a discussion about the history of Porn.

But that's how it goes on the internet sometimes...
 

Exterminator17

Spaceman
I personally like the question...However, I just wish it could have linked to the WC universe somehow, like Tolwyn's mental decline into a Hitler like figure in WCIV.
 

Quarto

Unknown Enemy
No, the point of the off-topic forum is to talk about off-topic stuff. Trying to come up with artificial links to WC would be pointless and counterproductive.
 

Kaunisto

Rear Admiral
Yes. I admit there's number of obvious economic etc. reasons UK and others wanted to avoid a major war at all costs, but I still claim the fear of communism spreading was a notable factor, in long term at least.
In 1920's Germany had the biggest communist party in Europe and it remained so until Hitler's rise to power. West was quite happy to see him stomping them down, so that other leftist movements in Europe didn't gain credibility.
 

t.c.cgi

Vice Admiral
Yes. I admit there's number of obvious economic etc. reasons UK and others wanted to avoid a major war at all costs, but I still claim the fear of communism spreading was a notable factor, in long term at least.
In 1920's Germany had the biggest communist party in Europe and it remained so until Hitler's rise to power. West was quite happy to see him stomping them down, so that other leftist movements in Europe didn't gain credibility.
I think you're mistaking the press with the politics here. To my memory the press fell in love with Hitler and spouted a lot of this. The politics just plain don't back it up.
 

frostytheplebe

Seventh Part of the Seal
I personally like the question...However, I just wish it could have linked to the WC universe somehow, like Tolwyn's mental decline into a Hitler like figure in WCIV.
Thats more the general forum, and even then it's a stretch. Take a look around the Off-topic, you'll notice most posts have nothing to do with Wing Commander.
 
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